Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Forced Introvert or Extrovert?

I don't have much recollection of my childhood meaning perhaps the time when my mind was forming itself.
I remember when my grandfather came home, we (me and my sister) used to go to him and open our palms and he would drop in the change he had in his pocket. What I don't remember was that when he came, all the ladies of the house went behind curtains or to other rooms out of his sight. Mom tells me I followed suit, whereas my younger sister would bravely go to him and ask him," what did you bring for me?" And dada would drop some changes in her hands, seeing this I would hurry from behind the curtain and also ask for my share. So I was shy! This was a revelation!

There were many instances which confused me about me, if I went shopping for example, I would never enter a shop unless I really had to buy whereas my sister did not mind entering and asking for the prices and leave without buying. After my marriage, I wore the clothes my in laws bought for me without bothering if I looked good in it, if it was my taste. My sister once commented, how can you wear whatever they give you? You don't have to take in everything they give you. Have your say!

I always thought I was the stronger one than my sister. I was a little headstrong of course, but I let people run all over me, because I think behind all the headstrong and stubborn nature my primary instinct was of a people pleaser. I used to "say", I don't care to anyone and everyone, but that was just a show off and convince myself that I really didn't care, when I was just denying myself my own emotions. I recently read a lot of articles regarding introversion and extroversion and I am perplexed about my true nature?

I was most definitely an extrovert, a bubbly gregarious person, always saying yes to everyone, generous to a fault! My father would time and again remind me not to overdo myself. Ask my friends or open my true confessions book my friends filled in for me, they will all vouch for the same. Now why I say I was and use the past tense is because I think I have changed or transitioned to more of an introvert. I tend to like only selected people and others get on my nerves. I can't stand dual nature.  Most of all, I can't stand extroverts! I am shocked!

I have had the past month home alone for reasons I don't want to discuss here. But, time has flown, and I have not really craved company and enjoyed the peace so much, I am scared I will get addicted to it. The few days that my sister in law visited, we chatted and gossiped alot and by the end of the third day, my throat was paining!

I am even contemplating a solo trip in order to get to know what I really am. Somewhere while I was growing up I have let people influence me and in my desire to explore and curiosity to know more, I think I have lost myself and up until now, I thought someone else would complete me, perhaps my better half, someone to steer me, but I was wrong. In this journey of life, one is fortunate to find such a companion and if not then also, life must go on and maybe it will be a better life with no more outer influences and I will hopefully and most certainly be able to find me as I was born to be!

I think I was shy as a child but I saw that shyness doesn't gain merit. I remember when I was in class I and I had to go to the toilet, twice I did it in the classroom because I was so scared of the class teacher. The time that I would have asked her I would have rehearsed the speech a hundred times to myself.."may I go to toilet please?" I had to buy a school badge from the school office and I kept loitering outside the office but didn't have to courage to go and get it, and ultimately a cousin who was in the same school as me solved my dilemma. I want to say a little more about this cousin, this girl was 4 years my senior and an extrovert and I admired her tenacity and her boldness and I wanted to be everything that she was I took the same subject in class 9 as her because I wanted to be her!

Somehow when we are a child we are what we are and growing up we see certain things..and we like certain people we want to emulate and in the process lose ourselves. If we have it in us we can surely emulate and find success in life. My last blog on "practice what you preach" is about this. When we become something we aren't made to become we face failures in life, life then becomes a struggle. A different analogy to explain this is, in the movie 3 idiots where every parent aspires the son to become what he or she wants but not what the son wants or can become? So what happens is that the child is just a mediocre person in life whereas if he had been allowed to follow his instinct he would have carved out a niche for himself and lived happily!

Before marriage, during school life I selected my own friends, it is ironical to note that my friends, almost all of them were introverts, and I was the only wild one amongst them. My identity identified with an introvert and while I like extroverts because the world is for the extrovert and by the extrovert and of the extrovert!
My survival instinct was ruled over by wanting to be a people pleaser, hence I made many friends, I enjoyed big parties and my high energy or call it self denial never let me feel stressed out!
My obsession or deep craving to be acknowledged and praised pumped up my expectations for whatever I did. Involuntarily I started sacrificing myself, and still do. All this built huge pent up reserves of frustration of living too much for others and when I let it all out , it took a moment to break whatever god relations I had built up. In the end, people don't look at me as if I am a people pleaser! (and they are right because in reality deep inside my id is not a people pleaser, and my reactions or outbursts prove it rightly, it is my ego which wants to please people) I can't change overnight, but now consciously I tend to stop myself from going overboard, which also backfires because my huge reserves of energy makes me restless and unemployed.. so here I am writing my energies off!! haha!

Anyways, I have decided I am going to stop living in denial and be myself. My last blog on "Oh girl, be yourself" is on similar lines but different topic. You may want to take a look at that. I will take up one issue at a time and try to resolve or untangle my life and try to learn from the failures and hence be more successful now onwards..

The question if I am in extrovert or introvert, also rather depends on who I am with?
There is this one Walter Mischel who says that our being an extrovert or introvert largely depends on situational causes! I want to believe in him for now, and his findings resonate with me and answers my question of whether I am an extro or intro!
Maybe I am both, perhaps I am an extro if I like you and an intro if I don't like you! Perhaps I am just too moody!! I hope I find my answers one day...

Links to read

Monday, June 17, 2013

Oh girl! Be yourself!

I had earlier written about Oh boy!

Being a girl and a woman now.. I hated to be one!
Anytime any woman blamed a man for whatever happened to her, I would defend the man!
I believed that men were much better than any woman. I still do!
Men braved the outside world and worked hard, what does a woman know about hard work when all she does is bask in the glory of her husband!

What I didnt know or understand, was that all this looks so nice from the outside

From the time I had a male gynaecologist to deliver my baby, I have been a man's woman.
I have seen men to be more sensitive to a woman.
The second and third baby I had, was delivered by a woman, and she, believe me was quite rough with me!

I used to think that I am the only one amongst many woman who are female bashers. But I recently realised that its not just me, there are tonnes of women out there who seek approval and they merit the approval so much that they are willing to let go of themselves to the extent that they let themselves be misused and misunderstood, all for the sake of a good name!
I was running away from myself till now.

The women who cry foul are called feminist, and looked down upon. For the first time in my life I am feeling yucky about myself and the treatment I give to half the world of which I belong myself.
WHY are women their own worst enemy?

I remember the first time I defended a woman, when I watched a movie called Kramer versus Kramer. I had a discussion about this movie with a friend of mine who pronounced that leaving the child by the mother was a very unacceptable behaviour. Women who take the child away with her after separation is yet another unacceptable thing to do. After all the child belongs to the father as well! How ruthless women can be!!
I was befuddled! Oh Heck what is the woman supposed to do? I always thought if I had to leave my marriage and step out I would never take the kid along with me.
Two reasons
1. The child is not only mine, more than mine, its least mine. Its like I am just the factory who produced the product but the ownership of the child is the man who has paid for the upkeep and supplied the raw material maybe. It was my own way of numbing my own emotion and saying NO before somebody else did that to me!
2. As a woman, stepping out also means that I have to start to fend for myself without a proper home and shelter, and when I am so unsure where I will land up, I cannot take the risk of taking another soul and putting it at risk!
I came to realise that whatever I will do, it is always going to be looked down upon.

Recently I told my sil about how many times in life I have been molested by men since the beginning of childhood, be it people in the house or people outside. I never raised any alarm and when I told my sil about it, she rightly said, its your eyes bhabi, they dance when you talk so you attract people!! Whoa!

Then again, my mil called and she was complaining of a certain relative who was cruel to his wife who's mother had died recently and he didnt leave her to stay for some days with her father for consolation, and when I retaliated by saying, that its not entirely the man's fault, its the woman who has no bones to speak for herself and hence the man takes advantage of her. My mil was quick to say, the girl is a nice girl!

So all for the sake of being nice and merit? Why does a woman do this?
I saw a movie today, it is an old movie called Dor, two women of different backgrounds meet because of certain circumstances. The stronger one makes her own decisions and stands by her decisions and comes across as very fair and almost like a man. The beginning of the story shows that the in laws of the stronger woman is not willing to accept her as a daughter in law. The son goes away to foreign country for work and tells his parents that if they do not accept the daughter in law, he will cut all correspondence with them and they will hear about him only when he returns. Meanwhile He keeps sending his salary to his wife, The wife who is an independent woman and earns her own living gives the entire amount to his parents who admit later that they were wrong in judging her! They tell her that she has a right to her husband's money to which she replies, "I may deserve this money but I am not needy of it and my salary is enough for me." WOW
I am digressing a little by saying the above. The reason I mentioned this movie was that there was a small scene in this movie where a widow empathises with another widow and says, "when a woman does not understand another woman, then how can we expect a man to understand us?"

Then I saw another movie called Fihaal, where there are two best friends. One friend is very focussed, independent and never wants to marry or settle down because as per her, "A woman in any relationship has to compromise sooner or later!"  The other just wants to love a man and have a family with him. What happens in the movie is another story. But I want to focus on being able to make your own decisions and then be blamed for what happened to your life. In this movie also, due to circumstances of the plot of the movie, the two women friends fight and fail to understand each other!

I see that any woman who is strong and independent comes out a winner in the end. These independent women look like feminists who don't want to settle down and who doesn't want to compromise. They are their own friends, they have self respect, they don't want any approval from anyone, they are responsible and fair. They hardly cry foul and most importantly, they are the ones in both the movies who are the true friends to their female counterparts!
Most importantly I have learnt that the stronger woman is NOT a woman hater!!

All this makes me feel that while I thought I was strong, I wasn't, I was just a confused idiot till now! I was only one of those men pleasers who in the end because of the sacrifices she makes to please a father or a husband or a son or a brother is spurned and treated like a doormat because she held no self respect for herself and expected someone to fill her shoes!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Practice what you preach!

Its been long since I wrote anything meaningful!
I hope I am able to collect my thoughts enough to give some meaning to whatever I write!

I used to think that people don't practice what they preach and that they do it deliberately. Recently I have come to realise that its not just them but perhaps even I don't seem to practice what I preach and its not deliberate!! And not just me, there are a good many great men who are unable to do the same!

I figured there are two reasons
1. It definitely is easier said than done and moving the tongue is moving only one muscle compared to moving the entire body to be able to actually come down to doing whatever one preaches!
2. This is an important point and where I think most falter. This is the point I am going to take forward and explore in this post. I read recently what we are is what we aspire to be..we may aspire to be Gautam Buddha but again two points.
i. Do we really have it in us to be him? Do we have the raw material inside?
ii. This is the same as point no 2 above.. which brings us to are we trying to Do anything about our aspirations subject to point no i!

More than anything else, we need to first acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and then based upon what we have as a raw material, by which I mean our mind and its capacity to think and our body and its capacity to withstand harsh times, and then based upon them, set our goals and ideals in life.

Most people seem to be too different about self perception and what they actually are. Most will over estimate themselves, many will underestimate themselves. This  difference in self perception is in no ways healthy. Many think or believe that under estimating self is far better than over estimating self.
For me, both is a lie, and both mislead. I am not saying that the person who does this is lying, which was what I used to think earlier when I believed that people did this deliberately! Its only that the person has perhaps ...

1. Not introspected enough and relied more on the feedback of others!
2. The person does not want to acknowledge his her own emotions and feelings (weaknesses and strengths), many men do that because of social pressures on men who are seem feminine if they talk about their emotions/feelings!

The best way to practice and preach is to rightly estimate and project the same to people and cause less stress for yourself and people around you! We can only find success in this by first admitting to ourselves to ourselves!
This can only happen if one truly has a firm grasp about his her own emotions and knows what makes him or her happy or sad or angry or fearsome?!!!

~Dr. Maxwell Maltz says,
''Our self-image and our habits tend to go together. Change one and you will automatically change the other.''